High trait self-control predicts positive health behaviors and success in weight loss

A. Will Crescioni, Joyce Ehrlinger, Jessica L. Alquist, Kyle E. Conlon, Roy F. Baumeister, Christopher Schatschneider, Gareth R. Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Surprisingly few studies have explored the intuitive connection between self-control and weight loss. We tracked participants' diet, exercise and weight loss during a 12-week weight loss program. Participants higher in self-control weighed less and reported exercising more than their lower self-control counterparts at baseline. Independent of baseline differences, individuals high in dispositional self-control ate fewer calories overall and fewer calories from fat, burned marginally more calories through exercise, and lost more weight during the program than did those lower in self-control. These data suggest that trait self-control is, indeed, an important predictor of health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-759
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Body Mass Index
  • control
  • diet
  • eating
  • eating behavior
  • exercise
  • health behavior
  • health psychology
  • obesity
  • overweight

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